Diabetes is a terrible disease with many side effects, and now researchers have found that it triples a person’s risk of developing dementia.

The research was conducted by the Alzheimer’s Research Trust and published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. Scientists followed 61 people aged 65 years and older who had experienced mild cognitive impairment (particularly mild memory loss) in the previous four years.

26 percent of the participants were diabetics. After four years, 31 percent of the entire group developed dementia; three percent improved and reverted back to healthy cognitive levels, and 40 percent remained stable (the rest dropped out of the study or were deemed unsuitable). Almost 50 percent of the diabetics went on to develop dementia.

Diabetes is a well-known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and several earlier studies have linked diabetes with other forms of dementia. It seems that individuals predisposed to developing dementia do so sooner in life and experience a more severe form if they are a diabetic.

Why does diabetes increase the risk of dementia?

This occurs for several reasons. Most diabetics are overweight by the time they reach middle age. Several studies have shown that overweight people are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. In time, dementia patients usually lose weight and can become quite slim, but when the disease first develops, most patients are overweight. Being overweight creates a great deal of inflammation in the body, as fat cells (particularly those around the abdomen) secrete highly inflammatory chemicals. Inflammation causes free radical damage to the body, and particularly the brain. The brain is mostly composed of fat, and fat is most at risk from free radical damage.

Diabetes causes high blood sugar. Sugar is sticky and it can adhere to proteins in the brain, causing them to tangle and damaging them. High blood sugar also creates a lot of wear and tear in the body. Most overweight diabetics have high blood pressure and it is also a risk factor for dementia.  People with high blood pressure are at risk of mini strokes in their brains, which creates areas of dead tissue due to impaired blood circulation.

How to protect your brain

First of all, it is important to try and avoid becoming a type 2 diabetic. In the majority of cases following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining an ideal body weight can prevent this disease. There is a great deal of information about this topic in our book called Diabetes Type 2 You Can Reverse It Naturally. The herbs Gymnema Sylvestre and bitter melon are excellent for helping to maintain healthy blood sugar, as are the minerals chromium and magnesium. If you are a diabetic you would greatly benefit from a formula combining all of these, such as Glicemic Balance capsules.

4-point program for reducing the risk of dementia

Dr Cabot’s book called Alzheimer’s: What you must know to protect your brain describes our recommendations in detail.

  • Lifestyle – include avoiding cigarettes and maintaining a regular exercise program.
  • Brain foods – include consuming healthy fats and avoiding unhealthy fats. Consuming plenty of folic acid, antioxidants and drinking enough water.
  • Brain-boosting supplements – include fish oil, B vitamins, turmeric, Ginkgo biloba and Bacopa monnieri.
  • Brain games – include crosswords, learning new skills, and memory games.

For more detailed information on reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease see our book.

Reference

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.